A load of play Virtua Fighter together reasonably often, and one of them asked me to do an analysis of everyone’s strategies so that they could get better. The general concensus in our group is that I’m the best because I think the fastest. I thought about it for a bit and realised that actually, I don’t do that much bigger-picture studying. That was further reinforced last night when I started to play online properly, and I realised that I build my game on a match-by-match basis, which is why I know Boss Nonnu will never “figure me out” - something he’s been threatening to do since the beginning of time.
There are some things I carry over from game to game, like that I know Ura Akira (and to a lesser extent Boss Nonnu) will use low punch as breathing space, and that can be drawn out easily enough. And I always have an easy combo at the ready to deal with low punchers. And I know that Stiff will go for Goh’s rolling-quick-rise counter attack a lot, and the damage I eat from it compared to the damage I give when he misses is a good trade off, so I don’t need to worry about being hit by it - if anything, I want to encourage it by eating a few. And I know that if Boss Nonnu is at long range with Kage he’ll throw out the human missile move 90 per cent of the time. But those things aren’t really the crux of my game, and aren’t why I win most of the time, I don’t think. I think it’s because I’m always trying to create the same game situations over and over, so that I can read those situations and my opponent’s reactions so that when I create that situation out again, I can react appropriately and score damage. I think this is why I win more often than not, and is why it seems like I’m thinking faster. I’m not really thinking faster so much as I’m thinking about this one specific thing, or just a few specific things, over and over. Focussing on a smaller picture lets me react accordingly more quickly and keep in mind my opponent’s likely reaction.
For example - El Blaze has a mid attack that cans into a high punch and then knee, which can be delayed. It’s a decently-fast mid that’s good for any situation with at least a frame or two advantage, which means it’s excellent off evade or succesful block of almost anything. Which means I can apply it in tons of situations. I will always do a delayed knee at first. Always. I probably should start with the second stage of the mind game, come to think of it, but there you go. Anyway, the inconsistency of the delay makes it hard to evade or counterattack, so I force a standing block. Then, once I’ve started to make my opponent block, I’ll change to a throw. Unless they’re keeping up with my mental notes (which is unlikely unless they’ve also got a similarly-narrow set of strategies) I will usually make the change before they will, giving me easy damage. Then they change and I change, and it seems like I’m thinking much faster, but I’m not really. I’m just really focussed on this one choice, and I’m using this choice as often as possible. It’s flexible, so I can use it in lots of situations, so I can make mental notes more easily. If I had ten of these strategies then I’d struggle, but I don’t.
I’m considering picking up Brad, and it will definitely be the same with his pressure game. I’ll just apply a really small set of techniques and then be easily able to keep track of them. I’ll make sure the technique will revolve around a move that’s flexible so I can use it in lots of situations and that increases the amount of time in each round where I’m potentially dealing damage and not at danger of taking it.
I think one of the reasons why Stiff and Ura Akira are having much more success now they’ve been online is that they can form overall strategies which keep me out of this loop more, but when things get faster offline they end up eating damaging because there’s too much on their mind, hence needing the low punch as a mental breather. Not that one should not have these strategies, they’re clearly important and one of the reasons I’m heading online is to learn more about that thought process, but I think it’s important to have these core attacking strategies that will improve one’s yomi, or appearance of yomi.
If this were a commercial website I would at this point have to explain what yomi is, but I think I speak for everyone on Affectionate Diary when I sa
Anyway, that’s my main strategy for playing Virtua Fighter. And probably life. A really small set of skills that can be easily applied on a regular basis, thus sharpening those skills to razorsharp levels. As Bruce Lee said - I’d rather fight someone who’d practised a thousand kicks once than someone who practised one kick a thousand times.